AMHERST, Massachusetts -- With decisive wins in last night's first round games, both Amherst and Williams advance to the second round of the Division III NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. The archrivals will meet for the third time this season tomorrow night, Saturday March 8th, at 7:30pm at Chandler Gymnasium in Williamstown.
Fourth seeded Amherst avenged a regular season loss to No. 5 Colby with an 83-60 win in Amherst. The Jeffs went on a 17-2 run midway through the second half to open up an 18-point lead with 6:36 to play. Senior tri-captain Jamal Wilson contributed 35 points to the win as he broke two College records. With his sixth of eight 3s, the guard set the single-season 3-point field goal record with 93 to date, snapping Jeff Schnack's mark of 90, set in 1989. The same basket made Wilson Amherst's all-time leading scorer, breaking the 20-year-old record of 1,512 set by Jim Rehnquist in 1977. Wilson now has 1,524 points to his credit for the 21-4 Lord Jeffs.
As the top-seed in the Northeast region, Williams posted a 76-51 win over No. 8 Wentworth to boost its record to 23-2. Williams held the Leopards to just 18-points in the second half while four Ephs scored in double figures. This is the fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Championship by Williams, who registers a 7-3 record in the tournament.
Amherst is making its second ever appearance in the Tournament, the first coming as a No. 3 seed in 1994. The Jeffs boast a 4-1 NCAA record, as their last run was cut short by the eventual national champion in the Elite Eight.
The Little III Co-Champs split their regular season series at a game a piece. Amherst claimed an 86-72 upset in LeFrak before Williams responded with a 14-point win in Chandler. The winner of this rubber match will advance to the Sweet Sixteen, scheduled to be played on Friday, March 14th. Hosting the Atlantic region in Sectionals next weekend will be the highest remaining seed in the Northeast. In addition to Amherst and Williams, No. 3 Salem State and No. 7 Tufts remain alive in the region.